Old school buses are always cheaper and stronger than most greenhouses, and the best thing is that you can move them.
In recent years, converting retired school buses into RVs and tiny houses has become increasingly popular. This time a woman from Alberta, Canada has found another use for them.
One of the great ways to extend the growing season and protect crops from harsh weather in colder, northern parts of the continent is greenhouses. But depending on what type of material you use, they can be very expensive.
Soft, polyethylene plastic is relatively affordable and as they are very durable in strong winds, it has to be replaced every couple of years.
School buses are known for their virtual indestructibility with their steel-ribbed frames and siding. They are very cheap to be purchase.
Two of them were converted into rock-solid, food-growing machines for a fraction of the cost of a glass or hard-plastic (polycarbonate) greenhouse by Doni Rae Franklin and her family.
They ripped out all the seats and cut off the roof from the windows up and replaced it with polyethelene plastic (they’ll only have to replace the roof from now on, instead of all the siding too).
They have recycled the tin roof into planter boxes, in order to withstand rot better than wood boxes.
They can easily open up the windows to let it cool down inside when the weather is warmer.
The two buses are larger as the drive-train was removed for another project. The short bus still drives, allowing Doni Rae to take her produce to the farmers’ market and deliver a whole new level of freshness.
The smaller bus only has skylights installed allowing her to plant crops without such a high light requirement, rather than the whole roof cut off:
Franklin tells FarmShow.com, “As I’ve been getting more and more into commercial gardening, I’ve realized that these greenhouses are the best way to achieve a reliable harvest, stopping things like frost and hail from taking a toll.”
She hopes to charge about $8000 per bus, half the cost of the national average for greenhouses if she ever gets time to custom build more greenhouse buses for people.
In 2016, her original Facebook post about the bus went viral and it is now making becoming viral again as more and more people become interested in growing their own food.